Because of their weakened state, elderly people in nursing homes are especially vulnerable to injuries due to neglect or abuse. One of the relatively common events that can happen in an assisted living facility is the development of a bedsore. Also commonly called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, bedsores occur when a patient’s skin and underlying tissue are subjected to prolonged pressure. If you notice that your loved one is developing this condition, you may be able to seek compensation from the individual and entity responsible for it. Compassionate nursing home negligence attorney Valerie J. Crown assists victims and families in Rockland County and elsewhere in Greater New York.
The small scale of our law firm allows us to provide the personalized level of care that injured people and their loved ones deserve. You can reach Valerie at any time of day or night by calling her cell phone at 845.598.8253. She is ready to devote the time and effort needed to understand the details of your situation and explore the full range of options that may be available to you. Valerie and the rest of our staff take great pride in asserting the rights of victims and carefully guiding them along the path toward physical, emotional, and financial recovery.Holding an Assisted Living Facility Accountable for Bedsores Caused by Inadequate Care
Most lawsuits against nursing homes are based on a theory of negligence. In a negligence case, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to act in a reasonable and prudent manner. Harm can result from a nursing home’s failure to take an action that should have been taken, or it can happen when a nursing home does something that should not have been done under the circumstances. Even if the specific action or failure to act can be traced to a certain staff member, the nursing home itself also may be held liable under respondeat superior. This principle holds employers responsible for the wrongful or careless acts of their employees as long as the acts occurred during the course of the employment relationship.
In order to establish that a nursing home is liable for negligence, the plaintiff must show that the nursing home owed a duty of care, it breached the duty, the breach of duty was the cause of the resident’s harm, and quantifiable damages were incurred. The standard of proof is a preponderance of the evidence, which means that the plaintiff’s version of events is more likely than not to be true. The process of proving the elements of negligence and injuries can vary from case to case. In situations involving bedsores, for example, the duty element is often satisfied through a showing of the nursing home’s statutory responsibility to reposition a resident periodically if he or she is confined to a bed or wheelchair. The burden of proof then shifts to the nursing home to prove it did everything reasonably expected to prevent and treat bedsores.
Bedsores are most common in areas such as the hip, elbow, or tailbone, but they can happen elsewhere too. The less a patient is able to move on his or her own, the more susceptible he or she is to pressure sores. For instance, a nursing home resident, who is recovering from surgery or whose condition requires frequent sedation, is more likely to be the victim of a bedsore than a patient who is able to walk around on his or her own. Other factors that can increase a patient’s likelihood of developing a pressure ulcer include recent weight loss, advanced age, poor nutrition, dehydration, and excessive moisture. Nursing home residents who develop bedsores due to lack of proper repositioning can suffer complications such as sepsis, cellulitis, infections, and even death.
If a plaintiff is successful in proving that the patient’s injuries were caused by the nursing home’s negligence, he or she potentially can recover damages such as compensation for pain and suffering and reimbursement for medical expenses. If the resident tragically died as a result of his or her injuries, the family may be able to recover damages for wrongful death. These may include burial expenses, financial losses, loss of companionship, and, in cases involving reckless or wanton conduct by a nursing home or its employee, punitive damages.Enlist Valerie Crown, a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney, to Seek Compensation for Your Injuries
As with any case involving a serious injury or a wrongful death, a lawsuit against a nursing home must be filed in a timely fashion. You should not delay in consulting injury lawyer Valerie J. Crown following an incident of negligence or abuse in Rockland County or the greater metropolitan area. To schedule a free appointment to discuss your concerns, call the Law Firm of Valerie J. Crown at 845.708.5900 or contact us online. You can also reach Valerie 24/7 through her cell phone at 845.598.8253. We represent the victims of nursing home neglect and abuse and their families from Suffolk County to New York City to Ulster and Putnam Counties, as well as our local counties of Rockland, Westchester, and Orange.